Sooner or later, whether you head up a huge organization or a small team, you’ll reach a moment of reckoning that leadership expert Bill Treasurer — whose clients include NASA, Accenture, Saks Fifth Avenue, UBS Bank, and the Pittsburgh Pirates — calls “a kick in the ass.” How do you recover from failure, rejection, and embarrassment?
Treasurer’s new book, A Leadership Kick in the Ass: How to Learn From Rough Landings, Blunders, and Missteps, is a guide to transforming those ego-bruising events into learning experiences on the path to becoming a stronger leader. In this excerpt, Treasurer offers tips to stay self-aware and grounded in humility. Bonus: One of his recommendations supports the events industry.
1. Hire a leadership coach. Great musicians and athletes have coaches, so why shouldn’t you? A coach can help you close the gap between the leader you are and the leader you aim to be.
2. Seek sobering feedback. Going through a 360-degree leadership feedback survey process can be a great way to stay self-aware. As long as you don’t cherry-pick the people who rate you, you’ll draw value from the experience.
3. Use a mantra. Your self-talk as a leader should be geared toward keeping your ego in check. Throughout the day, it’s good to remind yourself that your focus as a leader should be on those whom you’re leading. Mentally say to yourself, “It’s not about me!” or
“Get over yourself!”
4. Go where the leaders are. A Google search will help you find many great leadership gatherings and conferences where you can learn more about leadership while interacting with other leaders.
5. Follow more. Every leader should have at least one community where you [can] serve in ways that you don’t have to stand out. Be the basket passer at church, or the pancake flipper at the charity breakfast, or the weed picker at the garden club.